Monday, February 2, 2009

The Perfect Storm

I spent last week in Lexington, KY for work, maybe you heard there was a State of Emergency declared? (fantastic). The storm of the century that made its way through the country last week hit us with enough ice that G-Bone and I were left literally chiseling our way into the car. The parking lots looked like ice rinks and while making a very slow turn, our little Ford Focus rental slipped into a curb. No exterior damage, but from then on the steering wheel had to be turned all the way to the left for us to go straight, whoops! Pete got stranded in Cinci for two days after the Lexington airport was closed without power and eventually drove in after the storm had passed. Team Flapjack finally reunited on Wed evening and enjoyed another delicious dinner at Murray’s on Thursday night before heading back to the Cleve.

View from our window. There are icicles on the power lines, awesome.

Absence certainly makes the heart grow fonder and this is especially true of my kitchen. Nothing makes me long to cook more than traveling for work and eating every meal out. Blaze sent me two recipes to try, the first of which I tried on Sunday. The individual components of this meal are ok. But with their powers combined this recipe is AWESOME! (and healthy) CC and I cleaned our plates and I enjoyed the leftovers for lunch yesterday, mmmm. Perfect to beat the winter blues – its light, vibrantly colored, and full of intense flavors. I highly recommend it, thanks again B!

Mahogany Broiled Chicken with Smoky Lime Sweet Potatoes and Cilantro Chimichurri

1 cup chopped cilantro leaves
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
5 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons bottled hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup plus
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice, divided
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut in 1-inch cubes
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in
1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon chopped canned chipotle pepper
1 teaspoon adobo sauce (from canned chipotle)
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
Cilantro sprigs, for garnish

In a small bowl, mix together chopped cilantro, olive oil, minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper; set aside. In medium bowl, mix together brown sugar, mustard, hoisin sauce and vinegar. Reserve 2/3 of this mixture. To remainder, add 1/2 cup lime juice and stir in chicken; cover and refrigerate.
Place sweet potatoes in a heavy saucepan and cover with boiling water. Cook, covered, over medium-high heat until tender, about 15 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking liquid, then drain potatoes in colander. Return potatoes to reserved cooking water and add butter, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice, cumin, lime zest, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Mash potatoes. Preheat the broiler. Thread chicken on 8 bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water for 30 minutes. Broil about 6 inches from heat, basting with reserved mahogany sauce until done, about 8 minutes. To serve, divide potatoes among 4 plates; top each with 2 skewers of chicken and drizzle with cilantro chimichurri sauce. Garnish with cilantro sprigs.

My only change to the recipe was that I did not have any bamboo skewers. I just put the chicken on a baking sheet and flipped/basted halfway through.

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